Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Collaborative Learning in the Classroom

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Leadership for Learning and Innovation

DESCRIPTION In this study-unit, students will learn about the use of collaborative work, when to use this strategy in teaching and how to manage the class. There will also be opportunities to discuss collaborative learning and its direct link to assessment for student learning. Students will also be exposed to research-based principles that they can use in practice and then report back their experiences to the whole-group.

The unit involves reading of literature, online discussion and a practical component involving the implementation of small-group activities in two lessons.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to:
1. Support teachers in creating a collaborative learning culture;
2. Enagage teachers in using and reflecting on collaborative learning and its effectiveness in promoting student learning;
3. Help teachers develop students talk during small-group activity;
4. Provide teachers with opportunities to design and implement lessons involving students working collaboratively;
5. Develop the sharing of practical insights about the teacher's role in managing small-group activity.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Understand the importance of collaborative work in learning;
2. Explore opportunities in which collaborative work may benefit student learning;
3. Identify effective ways of introducing and managing small-group collaboration and discussion;
4. Value the collaborative aspect over the competitive element in learning as a community;
5. Analyse the critical role that teachers and students play as the class is engaged in a collaborative learning.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Use collaborative work when the purpose of the session is to develop conceptual understanding;
2. Plan lessons in which students work on tasks and situations in small-groups;
3. Create an environment that encourages students to work collaboratively;
4. Reflect critically on ways in which students may be exposed to collaborative thinking.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts

- Blatchford, P., Kutnick, P., Baines, E., & Galton, M. (2003). Toward a social pedagogy of classroom group work. International Journal of Educational Research, 39(1), 153-172.
- Mercer, N., Wegerif, R., & Dawes, L. (1999). Children's talk and the development of reasoning in the classroom. British Educational Research Journal, 25(1), 95-111.
- Wiener, H. S. (1986). Collaborative learning in the classroom: A guide to evaluation. College English, 48(1), 52-61.

Supplementary Texts

- Arcavi, A., and Isoda, M. (2007). Learning to listen: From historical sources to classroom practice. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 66(2), 111-129.
- Matthews, R. S., Cooper, J. L., Davidson, N., & Hawkes, P. (1995). Building bridges between cooperative and collaborative learning. Change: The magazine of higher learning, 27(4), 35-40.
- Pijls, M., & Dekker, R. (2011). Students discussing their mathematical ideas: the role of the teacher. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 23(4), 379-396.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Blended Learning

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Reflective Diary Yes 30%
Portfolio Yes 70%

LECTURER/S James Calleja

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.